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Bruce Treadmill Test Monitors VO2 Max


If you regularly train your cardiovascular system, a Bruce Treadmill test is a good assessment for you to use.

In the comfort of your home or local gym, this test helps you to monitor the progress you are making with your program and help to determine what your current VO2 max is.

What is the point?

The Bruce treadmill test was first developed to be used in a clinical setting in order to assess those who were thought to be at risk or suffering from coronary heart disease. Now however it is also being used by many trainers to assess an athlete's ability.

The purpose of this assessment is to measure your VO2 max, which can be defined as the maximum amount of oxygen your body is able to use while performing aerobic activity as well as the effectiveness of your cardiovascular training program. People with higher VO2 max scores will be able to exercise at a higher intensity without becoming as fatigued.

The point of the Bruce Treadmill test is to help measure how much oxygen your body needs to perform aerobic tasks, and consequently your body's levels of fitness.

What do you need?

  • A treadmill
  • a clock or stopwatch
  • An electrocardiograph if available
How do you do the test?
  • In order to start you will begin walking at a speed of 1.7 mph.
  • The gradient is set to at 10% to begin with and then with each successive three minute time interval that passes, the incline is increased further by 2%.
  • Speed will also increase, making the assessment harder on both accounts.

Below is how the speed will change:

Start Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5
mph 1.7 2.5 3.4 4.2 5.0
Stage 6 Stage 7 Stage 8 Stage 9 Stage 10
mph 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0 7.5

What results you'll get :

The individual being assessed will complete the protocol until they can no longer keep going. Their total time at the end (or when they stop themselves) becomes their score.

If you wish to convert this measurement to an estimated VO2 max, then the following formula can be used. Note that the time will be converted into a fraction, so say if they took 10 minutes and 30 seconds, this would become 10.50.

VO2 max for males: 14.76 - (1.379 X time) + (0.451 X Time squared) - (0.012 X Time cubed)
VO2 max for females: 4.38 X Time - 3.9

With a proper training protocol, every few months you should start to see an increase in the time duration you are able to perform on the assessment.

What is being measured again?

These test measures the amount of oxygen your body needs to perform aerobic activity and consequently your level of fitness.




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